Monthly Archives: February 2016

Jiffy – The JavaScript File Editor

Jiffy - JavaScript File Editor

You’ve got flat files?  That’s understandable.

In the beginning was the flat file: that simple but effective means of data interchange. Long before there were web services, systems shared data through files having custom record and field layouts.

Yet these things are alive, well, and growing today; for example, nearly all payments travel in some sort of standard flat file format. And since “the wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from,” hundreds of proprietary file formats support these industry-standard ones.

So, not surprisingly, I’ve found myself over time building custom viewers and editors for various file formats that we use. These are mostly fat-client Windows apps that must be installed to use. I promised myself that the next time I needed a new custom flat file viewer/editor, I would create it as a single-page app.

That time has come, and since I’ve been working with AngularJS and Bootstrap, I decided to use that stack. Hence, Jiffy – the JavaScript File Editor. It’s simple but easily extended: it can support a new file format just by adding a JSON file definition for it. It keeps everything local (in the browser) so no private data is ever sent to a server.

The initial version is now on GitHub, npm, and bower. If you’re also surrounded by flat files, give Jiffy a try. And if you create custom file definitions that others might like, please send me a pull request to add it to the collection.